High School Soccer / Local

School soccer returns to Chester with the help of the Union

Photo: Philadelphia Union

Remember at the end of 2018 when Ernst Tanner, Tim McDermott and Jim Curtin had a town hall meeting and said the Philadelphia Union would help bring back Chester’s high school soccer program? Well, today the club has announced that after 30 years, they will help fund a new high school and middle school soccer program for the area beginning next school year.

The announcement came this afternoon at Talen Energy Stadium, with the Chester students in their new uniforms and the Union players on the field together. Partnering with Chester-Upland School District, the City of Chester and Power Home Remodeling, here’s what came from the press conference.

The new school soccer program

Let’s just jump into the specifics of the new program. Eight Chester High School and Chester Middle School soccer teams, both boys and girls varsity and junior varsity teams will be created. This will be able to provide 200 local kids with a top quality soccer experience starting in the next school year.

If you’re wondering what the Union have to do with Chester’s new school soccer teams, the club is helping fund the program. The entire program will be fully funded by Philadelphia Union, Union Foundation and Power Home Remodeling. New practice and game fields, pro-level outfitting, coaches and anything else the schools will need are covered by the Union and its foundation.

Why now?

It’s been 30 years since there was a soccer program at Chester school district. When the Union first picked Chester to be their home, there was tons of revitalization talk, including talk of the city’s school district getting a soccer program again. At that point, there hadn’t been a school soccer program for 20 years. While it might have taken the Union another 10 years to help bring school soccer back to Chester, this is still a big thing for the club to do.

Both the Chester school district and the Union have come together to say that school sports are important, soccer is important. Both believe that athletics contribute to academic success, and are excited to expand the school district’s athletics program to include soccer, allowing for more student athletes to thrive in the community. Acting on some of the revitalization talk, the Philadelphia Union are growing more roots. The club has given back to Philly and Chester over the years, but this is pretty big for them. This engages the Chester community, it adds to the club’s growing younger fan base, but most importantly, it’s just a good thing to finally do after years of discussion.


  1. This is awesome. Great to see the team supporting the local community and helping provide something much needed for area students.

  2. Zizouisgod says:

    Well done, Union.

  3. KARLA Y BEAVER says:

    I am so hyped my son will be on this team….thank you Philadelphia Union, Power Model and Adidas for helping out our school district…..C-Pride 4 Life

  4. This is a fantastic thing for everyone involved! Mostly the students who will be given another opportunity to participate in an activity. It would be really cool to have the Union players attend the opening day games. Heck the Union should invite fans to come out and support the kids on opening day! Great move by the organization!

  5. SilverRey says:

    Great stuff!
    The last ten years it hasn’t felt like the Union were a fully true professional team. Things like this really are important, and the Union are finally close to catching up to the rest of the league.
    Good to see the Union finally make good on one of their promises to the area!!
    Also fun to see the Union players being player mascots for the Chester players!!!

  6. HopkinsMD says:

    Love this.

  7. pragmatist says:

    Everything about this is awesome.
    I saw a Twitter comment saying they can’t wait for the first kid from Chester to make it to the first team. Man, that would be awesome. Like, “lead story on SportsCenter” type of awesome. (I think I’ve said “awesome” enough now.)

  8. Very good. Well done to the U.

  9. i want some matches at Talen. if the Union can weave this into doubleheaders, i think it’s a win-win.

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